New Metro changes greet commuters Monday morning

SEATTLE -- Commuters who depend on King County Metro met Monday with both grins and grimaces.

Monday was the first weekday riders experienced the results of the largest route reorganization since 1973.

The changes include five new routes, 17 discontinued routes and two new RapidRide lines. Metro also introduced revisions on more than 50 of its existing routes.

Some riders on Monday said the rapid lines took up to an hour to travel from West Seattle to downtown Seattle.

"It's not much faster. It's just a nicer bus," said rider Christian Bianco.

Metro has also done away with the 40-year-old ride-free zone, and riders must now pay upfront, either with cash or an ORCA card. The group Solid Ground on Monday began offering a free shuttle now that the ride-free zone is no longer.

Metro urged riders to be prepared and to be patient during the adjustment period.

"It's very important for our some 340,000 daily riders to be aware of these changes, for them to do their homework," said Kevin Desmond of King County Metro.

For specific route changes, visit